Singer whose lyrics deride Jews, gays, to sing for Germany at Eurovision

Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:31am EST
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By Joseph Nasr

BERLIN (Reuters) - A popular German singer, some of whose lyrics have been described as anti-Semitic and homophobic, will be Germany's representative at the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) next year, sparking criticism on social media and in the press.

Xavier Naidoo, an R&B artist of Indian and African heritage whose albums have sold millions, was handpicked on Thursday evening by public broadcaster ARD to be the face of Germany at the song contest to be held in Stockholm.

"Is Xavier Naidoo the right one for the ESC?" the mass-selling Bild newspaper headlined on Friday, inviting celebrities and politicians to argue for and against his selection.

Naidoo's 2012 song "Wo sind" (Where Are) was criticised by German media, politicians, rights groups and the public for lyrics that suggest homosexuals are paedophiles.

On Germany's reunification anniversary last year, he appeared at a rally of the Reichsbuerger group, whose members promote the establishment of a German Reich based on 1937 borders that include large parts of Poland and former Soviet republics.

"Both the guy and the decision are unbelievable," Johannes Kahrs, a politician with the left-leaning Social Democrats, junior partner in Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government, wrote in Bild.

Nicole, a German singer who won the first Eurovision for her country in 1982, countered: "I am sure Xavier will be a worthy representative at the ESC. I like his music a lot and I find it great that an established artist has the courage to compete on the international stage."

In a song released after the 2008 financial crisis, Naidoo referred to the German-Jewish Rothschild banking family as "Baron Deadschild" and used the word "schmock", a derogatory term in Yiddish.   Continued...

File photo of German singer Xavier Naidoo performing during the Echo Music Awards ceremony in Berlin March 4, 2010. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz